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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert McCarthy joined The Buffalo News in 1982 and has been political reporter since 1992. A native of Schenectady, he graduated from St. Bonaventure University.


Featured

An appearance by far-right figure Steve Bannon at a fundraiser planned for Assemblyman David J. DiPietro at East Aurora’s iconic Roycroft Inn has been canceled after an outpouring of opposition and —  according to the organizers — a barrage of threats. Michael R. Caputo, DiPietro’s campaign manager and organizer of a separate election rally in Elma also planned for Wedn…

Local News

Just hours after Thursday headlines announced next week’s Elma campaign rally featuring Steve Bannon, opposition began mounting to any local appearance by the nationalist standard-bearer and former aide to President Trump. Concern especially surrounded Bannon’s scheduled visit on Wednesday to a fundraiser at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora for Republican Assemblyman Dav…

Local News

The Buffalo-area battle between an indicted Republican congressman and his upstart opponent went national Wednesday, as alt-right standard bearer Steve Bannon made plans to travel to Elma to boost Rep. Chris Collins and as a top Democratic funding committee came to the aid of the embattled GOP lawmaker's Democratic challenger, Nathan McMurray. The dueling announcements …

Local News

Steve Bannon, the onetime close adviser to Donald Trump with wide appeal among the president’s supporters, will highlight an Elma campaign rally on Oct. 24 in a sign of the GOP’s escalating effort to excite its base and turn out the vote on Election Day. Bannon will appear with local Republican candidates at 4:30 p.m. at the Jamison Road Volunteer Fire Co, 1071 Jamison …

Columns

Of this year’s 150 elections for seats in the New York State Assembly, none may prove more compelling than the rematch between Erik Bohen and Pat Burke in the South Buffalo-based 142nd. It involves an element of family feud in clannish South Buffalo and its suburbs. Both men have deep roots in the community, and both count legions of friends all over. So arguments are b…

Local News

FORT ERIE, Ont. – The Peace Bridge Authority is examining how it will eventually raise tolls on its international span over the Niagara River. No toll hike is imminent, but members of the binational authority meeting Friday asked Peace Bridge staff to recommend ways to avoid substantial increases after a long period of price stability. Car tolls rose from $3 to $3.75 on…

Buffalo

Tesla’s solar panel plant on South Park Avenue is becoming a popular gathering place for challengers to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Stephanie Miner, the former Syracuse mayor running on the Serve America Movement line, on Wednesday brought her campaign to the sprawling, South Buffalo complex financed by the governor’s Buffalo Billion program. The state’s approach, she said, i…

Crime

The latest chapter in political kingmaker G. Steven Pigeon's fall from grace ended Tuesday with another guilty plea. Just two weeks after appearing in state court and admitting he bribed a judge, Pigeon appeared in Buffalo federal court and this time pleaded guilty to making an illegal campaign contribution to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Under his plea deal, the former Eri…

Local News

Larry Piegza says he can “fix it.” In fact, the Amherst information technology entrepreneur who calls himself “Fix it Larry” is so willing to dedicate his skills to fixing the federal government that he is running in November on a minor party line for one of the most scrutinized congressional races in America – the contest for Rep. Chris Collins’ seat in the 27th Distri…

Columns

There may be no busier Western New Yorker these days than East Aurora’s Michael Caputo. His “occupations” include owner of public relations firm, radio host, TV contributor, book author, podcast commentator, member of the speaking circuit, campaign manager for Assemblyman David DiPietro, testifier before Senate Intelligence Committee and subject of questioning by specia…

Local News

A newly revealed recording in which Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray warns a Grand Island councilman that he owns a gun is gaining scrutiny after both participants claim they felt intimidated by the other. The Monday evening argument between McMurray, the Grand Island supervisor, and Republican Councilman Michael Madigan was reported in Friday’s editions…

Local News

For several years, passengers at Buffalo Niagara International Airport have lacked a key amenity offered at major airports around the country – a terminal lounge for business travelers. That will soon change after the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority approved a $1.6 million renovation of the vacant former lounge at the beginning of  the airport’s west concourse…

Business

Seneca Gaming Corp. is making a big wager that its expected purchase of naming rights for Metro Rail’s Erie Canal Harbor Station will soon pay off. Though the deal is not yet finalized, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has approved a contract calling for it to receive $130,000 over the next four years to rebrand the rail line’s southern terminus as "Buffalo…

Local News

Rep. Chris Collins’ re-election “air war” is intensifying with a new television ad strafing Democratic challenger Nathan McMurray for embracing a single-payer health care system. The 30-second spot was slated to debut Tuesday in Buffalo and Rochester as Collins, under federal indictment for insider trading, steps up the campaign he originally suspended in August. After …

Local News

Nobody did it better than G. Steven Pigeon. When politicians around the state sought an independent committee to spend unlimited amounts of money, they turned to the Buffalo operative who knew all the tricks. And as a result, the former Erie County Democratic chairman became an institution in New York politics. Pigeon carved out his specialty niche by going to the mo…